XZYprinting today announced its least expensive 3D printer for students, educators and small businesses at a cost of $290.
The machine has a 5.9-in x 5.9-in x 5.9-in build area, and comes with free use of the company's XYZmaker 3D modeling software.
XYZprinting, which has built a reputation around affordable consumer-grade machines, previously boasted its entry-level -- the da Vinci Junior 1.0 -- as the lowest-priced product at just $349.
Computerworld reviewed the da Vinci Junior 1.0 and noted that while it had some standout features, it was still a machine squarely targeted at beginners and didn't offer a lot of sophisticated features.
Only the company's da Vinci Minimaker, a 3D printer for children, is a less expensive machine -- at $250.
"XYZprinting's new da Vinci Mini 3D printer... addresses the needs of 3D printing enthusiasts without sacrificing quality and ease-of-use," Simon Chen, CEO of XYZprinting, said in a statement. "No matter your level of 3D printing experience, the da Vinci Mini is the perfect tool to create high-quality products at an affordable price."
The new da Vinci Mini comes with several features that are often associated with much more expensive 3D printers, such as embedded Wi-Fi, allowing users to transmit object files from their computers to the machine over their home networks.
The machine also self-calibrates its print bed, alleviating the need for users to level the bed by hand. The printer also comes with an auto-loading filament system, meaning users aren't required to feed the PLA filament -- the plastic material that's used to create the printed object -- into the heated print head by hand.
The da Vinci Mini has an aluminum print bed, which the company claims increases durability and is better at diffusing heat so that printed objects can more easily be removed without burning the user's hands.
Zack Boettcher from Milliken Elementary School in Colorado said he uses XYZprinting printers to enable student creativity in the classroom.
"For my classroom, 3D printing has been utilized as an exciting learning incentive for kids; where the winner gets to make their own print," Boettcher said in a statement. "Last summer, when it came to 3D printing, students were as engaged with the reward as they were with the lesson plan. My students got very excited whether it was just watching the da Vinci Mini print or experimenting with a design... As a teacher I was able to bring outside of the box problem solving skills to my students with the cool factor beyond the traditional classroom."